The White House says the defeat this week of an ordinance that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people in Houston isn't "going to set back the broader trend toward greater equality and justice in this country."

The White House had been one of the high-profile supporters of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Supporters said it would have offered increased protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as protections against discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion and other categories. Opponents alleged it would have allowed male sexual predators to go into women's restrooms.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that opponents were more interested in "a political tactic that diverted attention from the true intent of the ordinance."